Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09
Access and Engagement
Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09
The Board’s last annual report documented
the strong appetite for the Library’s services,
with 1,583,883 visits (a 38 per cent increase
on the previous year) made to Swanston
Street. The year just concluded saw
sustained demand for, and use of, the
Library, with 1,528,533 visits. Despite this
pressure, the Library’s annual survey of
customer satisfaction tells us that 92 per
cent consider the Library is either exceeding
expectations or doing a very good job.
One reflection of the prevailing economic
climate is that the use made of the Library
by the unemployed has almost doubled,
to 13 per cent (from 7 per cent last year).
The support of the Victorian
Government is critical to the success of the
Library. Given the exigencies of the global
financial situation and the priority that must
be accorded to reconstruction following the
savage bushfires of February, the Board
welcomed the increase in operational
funding announced in the 2009 State
Budget. Nonetheless, the Board continues
to be deeply concerned about the financial
pressure on the Library, a matter signalled
in my report last year. The demand for the
Library’s services and the increased cost
of doing business are severe constraints.
They affect all aspects of the Library’s
operations and its capacity to harness
technology. The Board has made, and
will continue to seek, savings in a most
conscientious manner but will also consider
economies that will affect services.
The Library’s site at 328 Swanston
Street is a significant one for community
and culture, and the investment in its
redevelopment over the last 25 years has
been inspiring. This investment continued
over the year with the comprehensive
redevelopment of the south-western
portion for the Centre for Books, Writing
and Ideas and its resident organisations.
Building works are scheduled for
completion in the latter half of 2009, when
we will welcome our new neighbours.
The Board was delighted that the
2009 State Budget earmarked $1 million
to enable master planning for the
redevelopment of Queen’s Hall. As I have
noted already, the popularity of the Library
is such that there are compelling cultural,
community and educational reasons for its
redevelopment. This assistance will enable
preparation of a detailed master plan and
updated business case.
The Board is diligent in searching for
additional financial support and augmenting
revenue. The success of the Foundation is
set out in the pages ahead, where you will
read of the Library’s many supporters.
The John T. Reid Charitable Trusts have long
been generous and thoughtful supporters
of the Library, and this year has been no
exception. Over the next three years they
will support the Open Access Program,
which will connect around 17 per cent of
students from disadvantaged schools in
Years 6 and 8 with the Library’s education
programs and exhibitions.
Both the slv21 program and the
Library’s current strategic plan will conclude
in June 2010. Consequently, during the year
the Board began considering the Library’s
strategic directions for 2010 and beyond.
Partnering with Victoria’s public
libraries enables the Board not only to work
with colleagues who share our goals, but
also to shape and contribute to research
and programs that will benefit all Victorians.
This report details the achievements of the
first year of the triennium of new projects
commenced under the aegis of the
Statewide Public Library Development
Projects. These projects are both significant
and strategic, representing a collegiate
relationship that is the envy of
In my role as Chair of the Board’s
Advisory Committee on Public Libraries
I have visited many of Victoria’s public
libraries and am impressed by the unfailing
enthusiasm and insight with which they
serve their communities.
One of the state’s thriving community
organisations, the Royal Historical Society
of Victoria, celebrated its centenary in May
2009. The Library was pleased to assist in
commemorating this anniversary as a small
acknowledgement of our debt to the Society
which, in its early years, played a major role
in encouraging the state and the Library to
preserve the documentary heritage
This report provides me with
a welcome opportunity to thank all of the
Library’s volunteers, including members of
the Library Board of Victoria, and those who
serve on the Board’s committees,
particularly the State Library of Victoria
Foundation Executive committee.
The generosity with which they deploy their
time, energy, goodwill and expertise on
behalf of the Library is inspiring.
As a consequence of relocating
to Sydney, Professor Vijoleta Braach-
Maksvytis resigned from the Board in July
2008. Her contribution to the deliberations
of the Board place us in her debt.
The Board welcomed the
reappointment of Robyn Annear and the
appointment of Professor Merran Evans,
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Quality)
at Monash University. Their skills in
administration, governance, policy, research
and strategic planning will serve
the Board well.
The Board is deeply grateful to the
Hon. Lynne Kosky MP, Minister for the Arts,
for her manifest support of the Library.
The counsel we received from
Penny Hutchinson, Director of Arts Victoria,
and her senior colleagues, particularly
Dennis Carmody, was, as always,
The staff of the State Library of
Victoria take pride in advancing the
institution’s role in supporting learning,
scholarship, curiosity, cultural life and
community. They do so with industry,
innovation and intelligence, conscious
of the extraordinary legacy of which
they are stewards.
It is therefore heartening to receive
tributes such as this one from a resident
of Mentone: ‘I have nothing but praise for
the staff at the State Library!! Every time
I have a query, they are polite, really helpful
and always enthusiastic. It is always a
pleasure to come to SLV and I must add that
even now, two decades later, it is STILL my
children’s favourite destination in the city!’
President, Library Board of Victoria
Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09
Over the course of the year the Library
enabled deeper searching of its online
material, implemented a system for
managing digital objects for better access,
and introduced a streamlined system
to support the digital delivery of material.
We also began the redevelopment of our
main website, which is a gateway to
information, services, and the Library’s
catalogue providing direct access to
digitised resources and licensed
databases. As it is the principal platform
for the delivery of online services, we aim
to improve the way its content is managed
and enhance the online user’s experience.
Two major resources were released
online. The first is the Victoria Government
Gazette (1836–1997), which is the result
of collaboration with Land Victoria and the
Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.
The Library also released significant runs
of The Argus. This was the result of a
collaboration, led by the National Library
of Australia with the state and territory
libraries, to provide free online access to
digitised Australian newspapers published
between 1803 and 1954. This ambition took
form in July 2008 with the launch of the
Australian Newspapers beta website. With
over 370,000 pages available by 30 June
2009, and thousands of pages added each
week, this website revolutionises research
using historic newspapers. The first
Victorian titles contributed to the site are
The Melbourne Argus and The Argus.
Alongside these significant online
successes, work continued to support the
increased use of the Swanston Street site
and the widening range of activities offered
at the Library. The new service model better
supports patrons with equipment use,
registrations, library systems and directions.
It also increases the number of hours
available for librarians to assist users online,
further develop our online reference
services, and create content in areas of
collection and subject expertise.
Mindful of the power of collaboration
in defining and resolving issues and forging
new ways of working, the Library is an active
participant in the Re-imagining Libraries
project of National and State Libraries
Australasia (NSLA). This ambitious program
brings together Australia’s state, territory and
national libraries, and the National Library
of New Zealand, to shape policy and
strategy based on research, evidence and
On 20 August 2008, the Hon. Lynne
Kosky MP, Minister for the Arts, announced
that UNESCO had designated Melbourne
as a City of Literature. Such recognition
celebrates the vitality of the many pillars
of literature – writers, readers, illustrators,
translators, publishers, booksellers,
designers, festivals, governments and
libraries to name a few. We were delighted
that Melbourne’s literary history and
contemporary zest were so honoured.
In November we welcomed a delegation
from the greater north area of the
United Kingdom and colleagues from the
Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust
to both explore the literary experience
offered by Melbourne and build networks.
At the end of April 2009, the Library
launched The Independent Type: Books and
Writing in Victoria exhibition and associated
events and learning programs – our toast to
Melbourne’s accolade as a City of Literature.
The February bushfires galvanised
an extraordinary official and community
response in Victoria and nationally. We were
pleased to play our part. The fires affected
11 of Victoria’s 45 public library services,
and our immediate concern was to support
colleagues in these areas and to assist the
coordination and communication efforts
of Public Libraries Victoria Network and
the Australian Library and Information
Association (ALIA). The following weeks saw
Vicnet assisting with the streaming of the
National Day of Mourning Service on the
Premier’s website, the development of an
online resource guide about bushfires in
Victoria, the prioritisation of the digitisation
of newspapers from bushfire-affected
communities, webcasting at the Library
of the proceedings of the 2009 Victorian
Bushfires Royal Commission and
commencement of the longer term
responsibility of documenting the impact
of, and the recovery from, the bushfires.
In April, the Treasurer approved
capital funding of $2 million for the urgent
remedial work on the facades of buildings
on La Trobe and Russell streets. This very
welcome financial support will assist us to
stop the deterioration which poses serious
occupational health and safety issues.
As the President has mentioned,
preparatory thinking commenced about
the strategic directions of the Library from
July 2010. This will continue to be a
focus for the year ahead.
The Library concluded work on three
specific plans in the course of the year:
⚫– Volunteer Action Plan which outlines
how we will build a stronger volunteer
network to expand services to
⚫– ResourceSmart Strategy and Action Plan
which has already reduced electricity
consumption in the last year by five
per cent, increased the amount of
GreenPower used and decreased the
amount of waste generated
⚫– Disability Plan which establishes an
up-to-date, strategic framework and
policy and provides an action plan
to remove obstacles for people with
disabilities to access both the Library
and the collection.
The President recorded his admiration for
the staff of the Library and I can only add my
acclamation. We were enormously proud of:
⚫– Gail Schmidt’s recognition by ALIA as the
Library Technician of the Year
⚫– Alice Cannon’s citation as Conservator of
the Year by the Australian Institute for
the Conservation of Cultural Materials
⚫– John Stanley-Rogers' celebration of
50 years of service to the Library
⚫– Andrew Cunningham’s award from
the Australian Saay Harari Association
for developing the keyboard layout
and orthographic mapping for the
Once again, we have sought to invigorate
our stewardship and pursuit of vital longterm
goals by intelligent, strategic and
deft innovation. The pages ahead tell that
story. We trust that you find it compelling.
Chief Executive Officer and State Librarian
Victorians will have ready
access to a comprehensive
collection of Victorian
documentary material and
to worldwide information
resources to enrich their
cultural, educational, social
and economic lives.
Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09
We recognise and embrace new
technologies, ideas and opportunities to
improve, grow and develop as individuals
and as industry leaders in a challenging
We work together and with partners,
sharing knowledge and resources to
advance universal access to information.
We work to understand, connect and meet
the needs and expectations of our
communities in the most appropriate ways.
We provide an outstanding service at all
times in a professional and ethical manner.
We strive to create an open and caring
community by valuing and supporting
individuals, and acknowledging the
strength of diversity.
This defining concept has guided the
Library through 155 years of our history,
re-emerging in different expressions over
the years, but remaining fundamentally
the same – providing Victorians with ready
access to a continually expanding world
As we entered the 21st century, we
re-expressed our founder’s principle in the
tagline ‘Information. Ideas. Inspiration.
For Everyone.’ adopted in 2003 and then a
few years later, when we embarked on the
slv21 strategy, we declared the Library’s
aspiration for the digital age to ‘put
information into the hands of all Victorians
when and where they want it’.
In the last three to four years, we
have successfully pursued this ambition,
offering services and programs to increasing
numbers of Victorians. Visitors to the
Swanston Street building now number more
than 1.5 million and visits to our websites
have reached close to six million.
There are many reasons why people
come to the Library, but in recent years these
have changed. While we still attract the
traditional core of library users – researchers
and students – people from all backgrounds
and of all ages now come to the Library
to pursue a wide range of activities
Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09
Many now see the Library as a place
of recreation where they can use the free
internet and wifi facilities, meet for a coffee
or lunch in the Mr Tulk café, buy a book in
the new Readings bookshop located in the
foyer, take a tour of one of the temporary or
permanent exhibitions, or simply admire
the magnificent architecture of the building
– such an important part of Victoria’s
Others come to relax in one of our
many public spaces where they can browse
magazines and books, play a game of chess,
listen to music, read newspapers from all
over the world, or try out video games using
the latest technology.
Others again set aside their
evenings to attend an array of events held
at the Library during the year. Events such
as lectures by leading thinkers and
internationally renowned speakers, forums
on anything from the role of sport in war to
digital storytelling and gaming, talks in
which collection specialists provide insights
into unique aspects of the Library’s
extraordinary collections, or free film
screenings that are part of the seasonal
Outside-In Cinema program.
People of all ages also come to the
Library to learn. They come for free workshops
on using the Library’s collections, including
new user orientation sessions and
specialised genealogy workshops; for
programs that will help them to refine their
Google searches or locate information in
online databases. Pre-schoolers come with
their families to read, create, explore and play
with books and technology in Experimedia;
primary school aged children come to learn
about the Library and aspects of Victorian
history in programs like My Library
Adventure and Make Your Own Ned Kelly
Helmet; secondary students come to hone
their research skills in workshops, as well
as to learn about the joy of books and
writing at Centre for Youth Literature events.
Such a vast and diverse range
of people come through the doors
of 328 Swanston Street every single day.
But what do we know about them?
The Library’s annual customer
survey provides some fascinating insights.
In 2008–09 more than 40 per cent of these
visitors were under 25 years old, while
only 22 per cent were over 45 years. There
has also been a significant shift towards
younger users in recent years.
Interestingly, there is no particular
bias towards male or female visitors. They
come in roughly equal numbers. Fifty-six
per cent of them earn less than $25,000
a year and 13 per cent are unemployed
(almost a doubling of the previous year’s
figure). Thirty-three per cent of our visitors
do not speak English at home. Among
frequent users of the Library, who visit every
one to three weeks, 74 per cent are under
25. (See page 36 for more information about
our annual customer survey.)
Providing free access to information,
ideas and inspiration for these people is an
important part of the way Sir Redmond
Barry’s vision for the Library continues
to be made a reality.
Of course, not all of our visitors come
to the Library’s city site. Increasingly, they
visit us via one of our websites to find
information, get access to the collection, use
our online services or explore beautiful, rare
and historically significant items featured
in one of many interactive displays.
People all over Victoria visit the
Library’s catalogues, viewing more and more
of our collections as digital images online.
They register as Library users and then
consult a wide range of online resources
such as newspapers and full-text articles
in journals and magazines. And if they need
help with a research question, they can chat
online, in real time, with a skilled librarian.
Our online visitors can also view
highlights from our current exhibitions, read
entertaining and informative articles about
aspects of the Library’s collections on the
La Trobe Journal website and find a wealth
of information about the state in the
Victoria Government Gazette (1836–1997).
They can explore the Mirror of the World
website, which showcases items from the
impressive Rare Books Collection, discover
some of the Library’s precious objects on
the Treasures website or share their own
on Your Treasures.
School children and their teachers
can find learning resources linked to the
Victorian curriculum, as well as get help with
research and study skills, on the ergo
website (which attracted 190,915 visitors
in the last year). Or they can visit the Centre
for Youth Literature’s Inside a Dog website
to read and submit book reviews, follow
blog posts by visiting authors, download
audio and vote for their favourite young
adult literature book.
The Library’s websites are also a
great way for people across Victoria to find
information about our range of regionally
based programs. These include the
immensely popular Travelling Treasures
program, which takes specific collection
items to schools and libraries around
Victoria. Delivered by a team of teachers
and collection experts, this program gives
people outside Melbourne opportunities
to see and learn about objects that are
priceless parts of the state’s heritage.
They also include programs to increase
internet training and access for specific
groups in the community. Mainly delivered
through Vicnet, these programs focus on
unemployed people, Victorians living in
rural and regional areas, Victorians with
a disability, Indigenous Victorians, and
people over 55 years of age. One program
that was particularly successful this year –
internet training for older Victorians from
non-English speaking backgrounds –
contributed enormously to this group’s
quality of life by helping them to connect
with their family and friends online, as well
as access news and information in their
own languages. This work is supported by
the MyLanguage portal, a consortium
project among Australian state libraries,
led by Vicnet. The portal provides access
to online material in more than 60
community languages and attracts more
than two million visitors a year.
So, in 2009, 155 years after Sir
Redmond Barry articulated his founding
vision, we continue to pursue our mission to
be a Library for all Victorians and contribute
to the vibrant cultural life of the state.
Harnessing the best of 21st-century
technology and emerging library practice
to shape our programs, we will continue to
provide Victorians with a rich and rewarding
experience, whether they visit in person
at 328 Swanston Street or through their
desktops from the furthest reaches
of the state.
Historian Les Carlyon opens
the Australian War Memorial
travelling exhibition Sport and
War. This exhibition explores
the role sport and war played
in shaping Australia’s
The National Library of Australia
launches the Australian
Newspapers beta website.
Providing online access to
historic Australian newspapers,
the State Library of Victoria
contributes issues of
The Melbourne Argus and
The Argus to the site.
The Collection Storage
Masterplan is completed.
The plan details the projects
and funding required for onsite
and offsite storage until 2017.
The Hon. Lindsay Tanner,
Member for Melbourne and
Federal Minister for Finance
and Deregulation, delivers the
annual Redmond Barry Lecture.
His topic, ‘New Paths to an Open
Australia’, investigates the
question of whether Australia
will become an open society.
B.A. Santamaria: Running the
Show is co-published by the
Miegunyah Press. This
publication is a companion
volume to Your Most Obedient
Selected Letters, 1938–1996.
In August we celebrate the
publication with a panel
discussion chaired by Ian Renard,
Chancellor of the University
The Hon. Lynne Kosky MP,
Minister for the Arts, announces
that Melbourne has been
designated a City of Literature
by UNESCO. Later in the year
the Library will celebrate this
honour with a new exhibition.
Conservation treatment of
the 13th-century Codex Santi
Paschalis is completed.
Inga Lunden, Director of the
Stockholm Library Service,
delivers a talk to State Library
of Victoria and public library
staff on new ways of looking
Baroness Professor Susan
Greenfield, Director of the Royal
Institution of Great Britain,
delivers a lecture on the quest
for identity in an increasingly
Conservation treatment begins
on the 1865 Victorian Geological
Survey Map following its
donation by the Geological
Survey of Ireland. The map was
produced by the Geological
Survey of Victoria between
1859 and 1865 and measures
4.58 x 3.52 metres.
State Library and public library
staff deliver three papers
at the Australian Library and
Information Association (ALIA)
biennial conference in Alice
Springs. The papers focus on
initiatives relating to the
conservation of local history
collections, guidelines for
reaching disadvantaged groups,
and a program to engage the
As part of the Melbourne Writers
Festival, the Library hosts the
2008 Victorian Premier’s Literary
Awards. Premier John Brumby
presents the awards, worth
$210,000 in prize money.
A panel discussion, The Culture
of Book Collecting, is held at the
Library as part of the inaugural
Rare Book Month (organised by
the Australian and New Zealand
Association of Antiquarian
Ten arts agencies sign the
Victorian State Collection
Memorandum of Understanding.
Each institution agrees to provide
staff and resources if an
emergency affecting any of the
state collections occurs.
Maxine Morand, Minister for
Early Childhood Development,
launches the third stage of the
State Government’s Young
Readers Program. The Library
will distribute over 57,000 literacy
packs including booklets and
DVDs to every Victorian baby at
four months via local libraries
and Maternal and Child
The Library’s three online
catalogues are merged into one
database. Users can now search
the entire catalogue via
The Margery C Ramsay
Scholarship, valued at $30,000,
is presented to Joanne Smith
from Hobsons Bay Libraries to
research the changing face
of customer service and its
influence on the design
The Victorian state final of the
2008 Australian Poetry Slam
is held at the Library. The event
is broadcast live across Victoria
by the ABC’s local radio program
Historian Professor Geoffrey
Blainey AC presents the 2008
Stephen Murray Smith lecture
on the subject Writing Australian
History: A few recollections.
The Library hosts a delegation
from literary organisations
in the greater north area of
the United Kingdom and from
Edinburgh UNESCO City
of Literature Trust.
Reader’s Feast and the Library
present The Right Honourable
the Lord Patten of Barnes,
Chancellor of the University of
Oxford, discussing What Next?
Surviving the 21st Century.
Beyond the Persona, a small
exhibition of portraits of
distinguished Victorian women
painted by Caroline Williams,
opens in the Cowen Gallery.
This exhibition is part of the
official celebrations of the
Centenary of Women’s Suffrage
National multilingual portal
MyLanguage wins the Microsoft
Information Technology Award
in the Community Relations
Commission (NSW) National
Multicultural Marketing Award.
The portal was developed by
Vicnet on behalf of several state
and territory libraries.
The Library welcomes an official
cultural delegation from
An additional 205 electronic
serials are offered for the first
time to the Library’s online users.
Titles include Contemporary
Literature, China Quarterly,
Popular Music, and Weatherwise.
Studio: Australian Painters
photographed by R. Ian Lloyd,
an exhibition celebrating the
work of 61 contemporary artists,
opens in the Keith Murdoch
Boys, Blokes, Books & Bytes
reading program for teenage
boys wins the Arts Portfolio
Leadership Award. The program
was created by the Library’s
Centre for Youth Literature,
in partnership with the
Department of Education and
Early Childhood Development.
Matt Viney MP launches the
Internet Training for People with
a Disability program. Run by
Vicnet, this program will provide
community organisations with
equipment and training to
support people with a disability
to use the internet.
Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09
The Medieval Imagination
documentary is screened on SBS
Television. Produced by Philippe
Charluet, the documentary
is based on the Library’s first
major international exhibition.
Visitors to the Library’s
Swanston Street building
exceed one million.
Allan Brough, ABC broadcaster
and television host, announces
the top five Victorian books
in the 2008–09 Summer Read
program. This year the program
attracted 2200 people to 41
events across Victoria.
Construction begins on the
Centre for Books, Writing and
Ideas, in the Verdon and Barry
buildings on the south-western
side of the Library site.
Conservation work on Captain
Cook’s waistcoat begins.
The waistcoat will tour in the
Library’s upcoming Travelling
The Information Centre is
reconfigured to provide a more
user-friendly visitor experience.
Changes include moving the
information and book collection
desks and improving signage.
Victorians attending Library
programs delivered in regional
Victoria exceed 10,000.
The Library responds to
the Black Saturday bushfires
by making key documents
and resources available online,
and providing support through
the public library network.
Colleagues from the Scottish
Library and Information Council
work with State Library of
Victoria and public library
staff to develop an evaluation
and continuous improvement
framework for Victoria’s
Disability Action Plan is lodged
with the Human Rights and
Equal Opportunity Commission.
The plan outlines how the
Library can provide equality
of access for and treatment
of people with a disability.
Readings Pty Ltd opens a
bookshop in the Library foyer.
The Library Executive approves
the creation of a Staff Alumni
program to encourage former
staff to continue their connection
with the Library.
In celebration of Melbourne’s
status as a UNESCO City of
Literature, the Library opens
The Independent Type: Books
and Writing in Victoria exhibition
in the Keith Murdoch Gallery.
The State Library of Victoria
touring exhibition Victorians
on Vacation closes at the
Mornington Peninsula Regional
Gallery after having been seen
by more than 18,000 people
during its tour to regional Victoria
in 2008 and 2009.
The Library completes the
conservation, cataloguing and
digitising of more than 3000
photographs, printed materials
and ephemera. The three-year
project was funded by Perpetual
In support of the Library Books
for Timor-Leste fundraising
campaign, the Library hosts a
lecture by Timor-Leste’s Goodwill
Ambassador for Education,
Kirsty Sword Gusmao, and the
former Premier of Victoria
the Hon. Steve Bracks.
Visitors to the Library’s
exhibitions exceed 400,000.
The State Government approves
$1 million of funding for detailed
feasibility studies and planning
of the future restoration and
refurbishment of Queen’s Hall.
Reading Matters, Australia’s
biennial youth literature
conference, attracts 850
students and 300 professionals
over a period of three days.
The Victoria Government Gazette
(1836–1997) website goes live,
providing access to over 160
years of official information
published in and about Victoria.
The site contains images of
every relevant page in the
Victoria Government Gazette
produced between 1836 and
1997, as well as searchable
indexes for each publication.
The Library launches its
Volunteer Action Plan, which
aims to encourage Victorians
to participate in short- and
long-term volunteering activities.
The Library implements the
first stage of the Digital Object
Management System (DOMS).
Online users are now able to
access and view digitised
images, as well as download
high-resolution images, from
the Library website.
Cataloguing the Vic Spitzer
is completed. Donated by
Mr Vic Spitzer, the collection
consists of 1200 volumes on
mountaineering and exploration
– one of the largest private
collections on this subject
(Environmental Action Plan),
outlining a comprehensive
strategy for environmentally
sustainable actions, is lodged
with Sustainability Victoria.
Mary Ronnie, one of New
Zealand’s most distinguished
librarians, delivers the 2009
Foxcroft Lecture on the subject
Carnegie Down Under: A Century
of the Dunedin Public Library.
Revenue from government 88,219 77,579 82,106 78,449 72,957 68,748
Other revenue 14,692 14,330 11,789 13,118 12,127 16,107
Total revenue 102,911 91,909 93,895 91,567 85,084 84,855
Result from ordinary activities 1,093 (2,309) 5,654 5,948 6,451 5,421
Cash flow from operating activities 11,663 745 (31) 4,047 (1,528) 5,251
Total assets 815,039 800,629 805,813 750,392 728,908 723,240
Total liabilities 11,444 7,880 8,776 8,767 7,391 8,175
Notes Increased revenue and cash flow for year reflects additional capital funding of $12,085,616 for construction of the Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.
Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09
Collections, Content and Information Resources
Unique Victorian material digitised and available for online access 1 274,288 389,125 316,190
Percentage of unique Victorian material digitised 2 38% 53% 43%
Total digital titles/databases accessible 3 106,022 91,300 113,943
Items added to the collection 4 46,464 53,680 61,331
Items added to the catalogue 60,458 49,550 54,823
Access and Engagement
Programs delivered in regional Victoria – number 5 235 250 272
Programs delivered in regional Victoria – attendance 12,305 10,480 13,721
Programs delivered in regional Victoria – satisfaction 92% 95% 97%
Students attending education program sessions – number 6 1088 700 704
Students attending education program sessions – attendance 6 35,072 25,700 22,743
Students attending education program sessions – reach 7 4% 3% 3%
Students attending education program sessions – satisfaction 97% 95% 97%
Online visitors to State Library of Victoria websites 8 7,948,239 9,011,767 5,790,807
Customer satisfaction with overall online experience 75% 75% 74%
Visitors to State Library 9 1,583,883 1,300,000 1,528,533
Satisfaction with overall Library experience 96% 90% 92%
Infrastructure Skills and Partnerships
Increase the Foundation’s capital funds base 10 $13.2M $15.7M $12.6M
Develop philanthropic support for digitising unique Victorian material 11 $419,432 $500,000 $378,364
Deliver the Library’s services to budgeted surplus/deficit 12 30.3% +/-10% (16%)
Value of training per FTE staff member 13 $921 $950 $816
Online visits to collaborative public library websites 14 3,216,240 2,800,000 2,098,347
1 The total number of items originating in Victoria where the Library holds the only known copy that have been digitised for online access. A large portion of the
Library’s digitising program is dependent on philanthropic funds. A significant tightening in the philanthropic market due to the worsening global financial
conditions has made it difficult to secure the required support.
2 The total number of items that have been digitised as a percentage of all identified unique Victorian material. Please refer to note 1 for commentary.
3 Includes electronic journals and electronic books in databases, independent electronic journals and books, websites and online publications in PANDORA,
CD-ROMs and DVDs. It also includes the provision of links through the catalogue to external electronic resources not owned or administered by the State Library
of Victoria. The total number of titles can vary throughout the year and from one year to the next as titles are regularly assessed on their benefit to the community.
4 Figures reflect acquisition of books, journals, newspapers, pictures, CD-ROMs, sounds and video recordings, as well as maps by purchase, donation and through
legal deposit that are accessioned during the year. There is a variation between items added to the collection and volumes added to stock (see pages 26–27).
This is caused by an estimate of non-accessioned pictures being included in the volumes added to the stock table. Only accessioned pictures are included
in the Items Added to the Collection KPI.
5 Applies to all activities conducted in regional Victoria as defined in the Regional Development Victoria Act 2002 and the Alpine Resorts Act 1983.
6 This includes K-12 students. Adult learning is included in the Output framework as OG2a community engagement activities. In 2008-09 the Library introduced
longer workshops designed to deliver improved educational outcomes. This had a slight impact on the number of students engaging in education programs.
7 The number of student participants as a percentage of the total Victorian K-12 enrolment.
8 Online visitors are measured as user sessions and include all Library websites including the Vicnet portal. There was a decline in visitation to the Vicnet portal
as an outcome of the changes to the Vicnet business model. In addition to this, an upgrade to web software on the Library’s websites has compromised the
current analytical tool and specifically its ability to count visitation numbers on all pages in the catalogue. Many of the Library’s websites made possible by
slv21 continued to exceed expectations. The ergo website performed exceptionally well, with visits 218 per cent above target. Visitors to the Library exceeded
target by 18 per cent. This is in line with steady growth over the past three years and is driven by slv21 initiatives.
9 Visitors to the Library exceeded target by 18 per cent. The end of year result is 3 per cent below the 2007–08 performance, which was bolstered by the Medieval
Imagination exhibition. The result is in line with steady growth over the past three years and is driven by slv21 initiatives.
10 This is measured at 30 June. This target was set in early 2007 and based on previous performance. The worsening global financial conditions have resulted
in a decrease in the Foundation’s capital funds base.
11 See note 1.
12 This is measured against the budgeted surplus/deficit for appropriated government funding (fund source 01) at 30 June and is prior to audit clearance.
Despite considerable pressures on expenditure, significant progress was made towards managing the deficit within 10 per cent of appropriated budget.
13 The value of training per FTE staff member was reduced to offset financial pressures on the Library’s operations.
14 Collaborative websites include Victoria’s Virtual Library, MyLanguage, Picture Victoria and two Open Road sites. Visits to these websites have been impacted
by changes in methodologies and use of various analytical tools as outlined in note 8.
Additional Key Performance Indicators used by the State Library of Victoria under the Output Framework can be viewed on pages 18–19.
Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09
Output Group 1 – Guardianship of the State Collections
OG1a Collection development and enhancement
Acquisitions and de-accessions in accordance with collection
development policies /strategic directions
OG1b Collection management
New acquisitions (acquired in current FY), electronically registered
to industry standard against agreed targets
G3 Collection stored to industry standard against agreed targets. [BP3] 100% 100%
Output Group 2 – Access and Participation
G1 G1 OG2a Community engagement activities
G4 G1 Events 739 910
G4 G1 Attendees 36,750 39,704
G4 G1 Volunteer hours [BP3] 1 3,400 2,534
G4 G1 Members and Friends [BP3] 870 872
G2 G1 OG2b Community use of facilities
G1 G1 Access – attendances/users [BP3] 2 1,300,000 1,528,533
G2 G1 Events 300 393
G2 G1 OG2c Education programs
G2 G1 Students attending educational programs [BP3] 25,700 22,743
G2 G1 Teachers attending capability improvement programs and workshops 3 580 2,218
G2 G1 OG2d Exhibitions and displays
G2 G1 Events 8 11
G2 G1 Attendees 4 350,000 447,654
G2 G1 OG2h Public access to collection/information
G2 G1 Virtual access to collection 100% 100%
G2 G1 Physical access to collection (either managed or open) 100% 100%
G2 G1 Access – visitors to website [BP3] 5 9,011,767 5,790,807
G2 G1 OG2i Visitor experience activities
G2 G1 Hours per week public has physical access to site 68 68
G4 G3 Visitors satisfied with visit [BP3] 90% 92%
Output Group 3 – Sector Development
G2 G1 OG3a Professional development and other services
G2 G1 Collaborative projects with NGOs/agencies 10 10
G2 G1 Percentage of participants rating training sessions as good to excellent 90% 97%
Output Group 4 – Distinctive and Iconic Buildings, Sites and Facilities
G5 G3 OG4a Facility development
Facility development plan currency 1 1
G5 G3 OG4b Facility management and preservation
G5 G3 Percentage of agreed milestones met in line
with asset-management plans
G5 G3 Percentage of milestones met in line with risk-management plan 80% 80%
G5 G3 Conditions of assets as a percentage of new 70% 75%
Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09
Priority Area – Collections Content and Information Resources
G2 G2 Unique Victorian material digitised and available for online access 160,000 41,902
G2 G2 Percentage of unique Victorian materials digitised 53% 43%
G2 G2 Total digital titles/databases accessible 91,300 113,943
G1 Items added to the collection 53,680 61,331
G1 Items added to the catalogue 49,550 54,823
Priority Area – Access and Engagement
G1 Programs delivered in regional Victoria 250 272
G1 Attendance 10,480 13,721
G1 Satisfaction 95% 97%
G2 G1 Students attending education program sessions (excludes online sessions) 700 704
G2 G1 Attendance 25,700 22,743
G2 G1 Reach 3% 3%
G2 G1 Satisfaction 95% 97%
G2 G1 Online visitors to State Library of Victoria websites (user sessions) 9,011,767 5,790,807
G2 G1 Customer satisfaction with overall online experience 75% 74%
G1 G1 Visitors to the State Library 1,300,000 1,528,533
G1 G1 Customer satisfaction with overall library experience 90% 92%
Priority Area – Infrastructure, Skills and Relationships
G4 Increase the Foundation’s capital funds base $15.7M $12.6M
Develop philanthropic support for digitising
unique Victorian material
G4 Deliver the Library’s services to budget (+/-) 10% (16%)
G2 G2 Value of training per FTE staff member $950 $816
CC+ refers to the State Government’s arts policy, Creative Capacity+: Arts for all Victorians. It has three goals:
G1: Arts for all Victorians: a culture of participation
G2: On the threshold: an economy based on innovation
G3: Creative place: a dynamic arts sector.
It also outlines four strategies to achieve these goals:
S1: Developing artists, ideas and knowledge
S2: Engaging creative communities
S3: Building creative industries
S4: Creating place and space.
GVT refers to Growing Victoria Together, a ten-year vision that articulates what is important to Victorians and the
priorities that the government has set to build a better society. The vision includes ten goals:
G1: More quality jobs and thriving, innovative industries across Victoria
G2: Growing and linking all of Victoria
G3: High-quality, accessible health and community services
G4: High-quality education and training for lifelong learning
G5: Protecting the environment for future generations
G6: Efficient use of natural resources
G7: Building friendly, confident and safe communities
G8: A fairer society that reduces disadvantage and respects diversity
G9: Greater public participation and more accountable government
G10: Sound financial management.
Notes For comments relating to the Library’s nominated key performance indicators please refer to the notes accompanying
the 2008–09 key performance indicators table on page 15.
1 Volunteer hours are 25 per cent below target for 2008–09 due to a downturn in the number of volunteers, as well as the number and range of projects the Library
was able to offer to our volunteers. The Volunteer Action Plan, launched in May 2009, outlines opportunities for volunteering in a wider range of Library activities.
2 Visitors to the Library exceeded target by 18 per cent.
This is in line with steady growth over the past three years and shows a continuation of the momentum begun as a result of slv21 initiatives.
3 Programs to promote and educate teachers about ergo were delivered at a number of targeted regional schools as well as in metropolitan areas.
The program was delivered to more than 50 schools, reaching 1271 teachers.
4 The success of the Medieval Imagination exhibition in 2007–08 has raised the profile of the Library’s
exhibition program with above-target attendance at all permanent and temporary exhibitions.
5 Online visitors are measured as user sessions. These are measured on all Library websites including the Vicnet portal. There was a decline in visitation to the
Vicnet portal as an outcome of the changes to the Vicnet business model. In addition to this, an upgrade to web software on the Library’s websites has
compromised the current analytical tool and specifically its ability to count visitation numbers on all pages in the catalogue. Many of the Library’s websites,
made possible by slv21, continued to exceed expectations. The ergo website performed exceptionally well, with visits 218 per cent above target.
The Library continued to strengthen its
relationships in the international library
community. In addition to our Memorandum
of Understanding with the National Library
Board of Singapore, and partnerships to
raise public awareness for the struggling
libraries of the world’s newest nation,
Timor-Leste, the Library hosted official
visits and delegations from all parts
of the globe.
Culturally sensitive service delivery
In 2008–09 the Library provided a range
of services for culturally and linguistically
diverse communities. These included
internet programs for senior citizens,
research on the language maintenance
needs of emerging communities, translation
of training materials and an expansion of
genealogical resources to reflect Victoria’s
ethnic diversity. The Library also continued
to host the MyLanguage portal, which
delivers over six million information links
in more than 60 languages.
Over the past year, the Library
promoted Indigenous culture through the
Creative Fellowship program, exhibition
and education programs and through
participation in the federal collaborative
OzIndigneous Search Project. See page 77
for more information about this project.
Disability Action Plan
An audit and review of services resulted in
a revised Disability Action Plan, ensuring
that the State Library of Victoria meets its
responsibilities under the Victorian Disability
Act 2006. The plan identifies and outlines
areas where the Library will, in the coming
years, improve access to facilities,
information services and employment
to support people with a disability.
Ten arts agencies signed the Victorian
State Collection Emergency Response
Memorandum of Understanding, with each
institution agreeing to provide staff and
resources in the event of an emergency
affecting any of the state collections.
The agencies also agreed to establish
a regular forum for promoting best practice
emergency response for these
The Library continued to provide
human resource management and payroll
services to the National Gallery of Victoria
through the Aurion database.
During 2008–09, the Library
continued its work with Arts Victoria and
portfolio agencies to assess opportunities
for expansion of shared services. As a result,
work was initiated to establish joint storage
for disaster recovery with Museum Victoria.
Cultural agencies finalised a
Memorandum of Understanding to work
collaboratively in disaster response
management. A plan was also developed
that will see the Library providing Information
and Communication Technologies (ICT)
services to the new Centre for Books,
Writing and Ideas when it commences
operations in 2009.
Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09
Agency and NGO programming
During 2008–09 the Library Board of Victoria
and the Victorian Public Library Network
worked collaboratively on a range of
projects. These included starting work on
digitising many of Victoria’s earliest regional
newspapers; preparing a panel version of
The Independent Type: Books and Writing
in Victoria exhibition for touring to public
libraries; developing Being the Best We Can,
an evaluation and continuous improvement
framework for Victoria’s public libraries;
scoping a major piece of work on the
economic contribution of Victoria’s public
libraries; and extending the State
Library’s Shared Leadership program into
the public library network.
The Library also continued to support
two Australian Research Council (ARC)
research projects: Cultural Collections,
Creators & Copyright (University of
Melbourne), and the Australian Information
Seekers and the Social Consequences
of Information Policy (Swinburne University
of Technology). See page 53 for more
Over the past year, three new
collection-based books were published and
work was finalised on several others. Titles
scheduled for release before the end of
2009 are the result of collaborations with
new publishing partners such as Thames
& Hudson Australia, Hardie Grant Books,
The Five Mile Press and Text Publishing, as
well as with established partners Macmillan
Art Publishing, Australian Scholarly
Publishing and The Miegunyah Press.
See page 47 for more information.
The Library worked with the Georges
Mora Foundation, the La Trobe Society
and the University of Melbourne to provide
fellowships, and also administered the
RE Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script
and Service Strategy
The Library continued its commitment
to working with Arts Victoria on the
development of an over-arching strategic
asset management framework
and service strategy.
The Library continued to engage young
people across the state through the youth
element of outreach programs. The very
popular Travelling Treasures program,
which takes the Library’s treasures on the
road to regional Victoria, visited 35 schools,
with 1653 students attending the sessions.
A further 1711 young Victorians enjoyed
the Bookgig on the Road program.
The success of the ergo and Inside
a Dog websites continued, with over 190,915
visits recorded during the year.
See pages 42–43 for more
information about these programs.
Victorian Cultural Network
The Library continued to work with Arts
Victoria and Victorian cultural agencies to
define the program of work for Stage 2 of the
Victorian Cultural Network. Each agency
will receive funding for developing
educational digital content – websites,
curated content, audio, video and other
formats. This content will be made available
for use by the education sector through
the Department of Education and Early
Childhood Development’s curriculum
content online project Knowledgebank:
Next generation (now known as FUSE).
World-class Arts to Regional Victoria
The Library delivered programs to over
12,500 regional Victorians. As mentioned
above, the Library took important collection
items on tour to regional Victoria with its
Travelling Treasures program. The Library’s
exhibition Victorians on Vacation continued
its tour of the state, entertaining visitors
at Mildura Arts Centre, Warrnambool Art
Gallery and Mornington Peninsula Regional
Gallery. See page 39 for more information.
City of Literature
The Library has managed the restoration
and refurbishment program for the Verdon
and Barry buildings, fronting Little Lonsdale
Street. The refurbished space will become
the home for the Centre for Books, Writing
and Ideas, an initiative of the Victorian State
Government supporting Melbourne’s
status as a UNESCO City of Literature. In
early 2009, the Library celebrated this status
with the opening of the Independent Type:
Books and writing in Victoria exhibition.